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Nat’l Aids program to launch pilot to reduce stigma

IMG_3991Providenciales, 14 Apr 2015 – A pilot program is being launched which the National Aids Program believes will not only be more cost effective, but eliminate any stigma surrounding medical treatment of HIV infected residents.
A three day workshop is underway this week to ready the medical staff of government clinics and private practitioners who will begin treating HIV at the primary health care stage. Leading the sessions is guest presenter from the Bahamas, Dr. Phillipa Pratt, Registrar of Infectious diseases.

“The thing about HIV now, is we’re thinking about it like a chronic disease – like hypertension or diabetes – so the message is that you can live well with HIV, you can live with HIV, you could graduate, take care of your children and everything so it is important that people actually know their status and know it early, so that you can get the treatments that they need in a comfortable environment, not thinking that you’re gonna go one clinic and people are gonna know that you’re there for HIV, but you can go there with anybody else who is coming for regular cholesterol check-ups, pregnancy tests or STI screening.”

Coordinator of the TCI program, Aldora Robinson said this strategy is a trending move now within the region, as HIV is treated as a chronic illness with no set day or time for those infected to get care.
Six medical centers will participate in this six month trial run of the maneuver.
The workshop, which is being held at the Environmental Center was opened by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services, Tamera Robinson.

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